I threw out a lot of my possessions in this most recent move. I said goodbye to boxes of college stuff labeled “sentimental” and shoved all together — papers I didn’t throw away when they came into my life and, due to a packrattiness in my blood, held on to them until they were old enough to seem significant. I threw away my bookshelf from my childhood bedroom, the iron and wicker one that could’ve been harboring little insect friends from our last apartment. I threw out readings from old college journalism classes, anthologies of my heroes’ stories and my (failed) attempts at imitating them. I threw out the 90 sets of clips from the Daily Northwestern, and the piece of string that lived around the doorknob of one of my dorm rooms, and the scrap of tissue paper from that surprise party. (But not the paper star from our apartment in New York. I couldn’t.)
I don’t miss any of it. In fact, I woke up this morning and looked around our totally clutter-free apartment and it seemed like my whole sense of being had done a yawn-stretch and could finally spread out. Except! I’ve had dreams about the stuff I threw out. My bookshelf appeared in a dream last night and was talking to me about how mad it was at me. I’m serious. I’ve angered the objects. And now they’re after me.
I knew there was a reason I kept things.